Monday, July 14, 2008

Stranger Magnet

For some reason, unbeknownst to me and my friend Colette, if you are our walking with a baby -- especially in a baby carrier on your chest, random people must talk to you. They just can't resist. I don't know what it is about babies but they make everyone your friend instantly.

Today for instance, Colette and Eva, Ada and I were out on a long walk. We started off casually headed to the CVS to pick up photos. CVS was too busy but while we were in the store, a woman stopped me to ask about Ada and to tell me about sunhats back in the day. She said they used to have sunhats secured with elastic chin straps. As I stand there with my feelers out for any sign of weirdo-wacko danger, she tells me about how one day her son was wearing one of the hats with the elastic and he proceeded to grab the strap, pull it far from his face and then let go of it before she could intercept it from the painful retraction into his chin and the blood curdling scream that followed. Poor kid. Thank goodness for Velcro and snaps that we have nowadays.

Then we saw a guy playing music on a guitar. He told us his kid was a teenager now and then said something about how it is important, once the babies start standing up, that we read to them. We assured him we already read to them and continued on our way.

As we rounded the next corner, a middle age gentlemen was walking the same direction as we were and said "Is that carrier comfortable?" To which I replied. "Yeah, it's not bad. I've only had it a few weeks but it is an Ergo designed to be good for the back... I have a few herniated discs in my neck and so I try to be careful as much as I can...". He walked with us about 100 feet toward his place and explained that he is always mindful of his posture as he has had back surgery and has a cage in his spine or something that sounds painful. But he was very nice.

Then near the bike path on Lake Shore Drive, a car didn't wait for us at the crosswalk and a woman proceed to tell us how you always have to watch for them because they are unsafe. Then she gave us a lesson on watching for bikers on the path because they will run you over as they are going too fast and so unsafe.

And just the other day when we were out walking, another random guy asked us if it was weird that we once had the babies in our bellies and now we wear them on our chests. We told him we hadn't really thought about it but that is an interesting thought.

So if you are looking for ways to improve your social skills or attract more random people and wackos, just strap a baby to your chest and come for a walk in my neighborhood. It's always a good time.

Moral of the story: Babies attract weird people. Just go with the flow, smile, nod and when all else fails, keep walking.

No comments: